My Favorite Paintings, Photos, Sculpture

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso. 

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” – Claude Monet.

“A work of art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t art at all.” – Paul Cézanne

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” – Marc Chagall

The Trinity (also called The Hospitality of Abraham) is an icon created by Russian painter Andrei Rublev in the 15th century. It is his most famous work and the most famous of all Russian icons and it is regarded as one of the highest achievements of Russian art. Scholars believe that it is one of only two works of art (the other being the Dormition Cathedral frescoes in Vladimir) that can be attributed to Rublev with any sort of certainty.

The Trinity depicts the three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre (Genesis 18:1–8), but the painting is full of symbolism and is interpreted as an icon of the Holy Trinity. At the time of Rublev, the Holy Trinity was the embodiment of spiritual unity, peace, harmony, mutual love and humility.

For more about the icon go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(Andrei_Rublev)

“Marc Chagall returned to Europe in 1946, arriving in Paris. In 1947, he finished The Falling Angel (1923-1947), which had been in the works for almost 25 years. It combines Biblical and Torah lore with the modern world and with Chagall’s personal symbolism in a juxtaposition of images that attempt to summarize the many experiences the artist had over the course of his work on the painting.”

“When he began it in 1922, with memories of the Russian revolution still fresh, the picture was to have included only the figures of the Jew and the angel and was meant as a representation of the Old Testament vindication of the presence of Evil in the world. Yet, in the years up to the painting’s completion in 1947 the artist increasingly incorporated motifs reminiscent of his little Russian world, in the end even adding the Christian images of the Madonna and of Christ on the Cross.”

For more of his paintings go to: https://www.marcchagall.net/index.jsp

William Zdinak (1925-1993) was a commercial artist who, in his words “was very busy at the drawing board caught up in the RAT RACE we call success” when a long-delayed commission for a religious art show, and a visit from his creator God, forever changed his life and work. Below is one of his paintings.

In His Image

 David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo. David is a 5.17-metre (17 ft 0 in) marble statue of the Biblical figure David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence.

Homeless Jesus,[1] also known as Jesus the Homeless, is a bronze sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz depicting Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. The original sculpture was installed at Regis CollegeUniversity of Toronto, in early 2013. Other casts have since been installed at many places across the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_of_Saint_John_of_the_Cross

Christ of Saint John of the Cross is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1951 which is in the collection of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow. It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

The painting is known as the Christ of Saint John of the Cross, because its design is based on a drawing by the 16th-century Spanish friar John of the Cross.[2] The composition of Christ is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity, and the circle may be an allusion to Platonic thought. The circle represents Unity: all things do exist in the “three” but in the four, merry they be.[3]

On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí explained its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in colour and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe,’ the Christ!”[4]

In order to create the figure of Christ, Dalí had Hollywood stuntman Russell Saunders suspended from an overhead gantry, so he could see how the body would appear from the desired angle [5] and also envisage the pull of gravity on the human body. The depicted body of water is the bay of Port Lligat, Dalí’s residence at the time of the painting.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_of_Saint_John_of_the_Cross

The cross, especially the Crucifix was not used to depict Jesus in the first several hundred years as it was associated with criminals and seditionists. Jesus, with hands raised to indicate that rose from the dead was the familiar portrait found on walls.

The Good Shepherd

Center of the ceiling of the “Velatio” cubicle: the Good Shepherd (also sheep and doves with olive branches in trees). Location: Catacomb of Priscilla, Italy, Rome, second half of the 3rd century; Unknown Unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The symbol of the cross was not used to represent Jesus until many centuries later, as in the early days of Christianity, crucifixion was a common form of punishment for various offenses and therefore would not have been exclusively linked with Christianity, but rather with incivility.

Picture of the prophet Jonah being thrown into the Sea. From the catacomb of Saint Peter and Saint Marcellino, Rome, Italy, c. 4th century; Public Domain, Link

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel is a religious scene used as inspiration by many artists, not just Rembrandt van Rijn, although his depiction (below) is certainly the most famous. This story crosses several religious boundaries, being explained by Christianity, Islam and also Judaism.

Jacob wrestling with the angel is described in Genesis (32:22–32; also referenced in Hosea 12:3–5). The “angel” in question is referred to as “man” (אִישׁ) and “God” in Genesis, while Hosea references an “angel” (מַלְאָךְ).[1] The account includes the renaming of Jacob as Israel (etymologized as “contends-with-God“).

In the Genesis narrative, Jacob spent the night alone on a riverside during his journey back to Canaan. He encounters a “man” who proceeds to wrestle with him until daybreak. In the end, Jacob is given the name “Israel” and blessed, while the “man” refuses to give his own name. Jacob then names the place where they wrestled Penuel (פְּנוּאֵל “face of God” or “facing God”[2]).

The Masoretic text reads as follows:

The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. Genesis 32:22–32

The account contains several plays on the meaning of Hebrew names—Peniel (or Penuel)Israel—as well as similarity to the root of Jacob’s name (which sounds like the Hebrew for “heel”) and its compound.[3] The limping of Jacob (Yaʿaqob ), may mirror the name of the river, Jabbok (Yabbok יַבֹּק , sounds like “crooked” river), and Nahmanides (Deut. 2:10 of Jeshurun) gives the etymology “one who walks crookedly” for the name Jacob.[4]

The Hebrew text states that it is a “man” (אִישׁ, LXX ἄνθρωπος, Vulgate vir) with whom Jacob wrestles, but later this “man” is identified with God (Elohim) by Jacob.[5] Hosea 12:4 furthermore references an “angel” (malak). Following this, the Targum of Onkelos offers “because I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face”, and the Targum of Palestine gives “because I have seen the Angels of the Lord face to face”.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_wrestling_with_the_angel